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Medical Students (Grants)

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding the reduction of parental contributions in grants for medical students; and what action he intends to take.

My right hon. Friend receives representations about various aspects of the system of parental contributions to student support; those in respect of medical students cannot be separately identified. Future arrangements for student support are the subject of a comprehensive review under my chairmanship.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the financial effect of the abolition of the special equipment grant for medical students (a) for the Government and (b) for the students; and what representations he has received on this subject.

The abolition of the special equipment grant has achieved savings in public expenditure which have been redeployed within the student awards system. Students attending courses which began before 31 August 1986, and which were in subjects—including medicine—qualifying for the special equipment grant, continue to be eligible to claim up to £90 during their courses. Students whose courses began after 31 August 1986 are ineligible to claim.Since the abolition of the grant was announced, some 140 letters on the subject have been received, about half of them referring specifically to the situation of medical students.